SIA Government Relations Chair Calls for Stronger Airport Credentials in Congressional Testimony

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Kathleen Carroll explores recommendations for biometrics adoption and federated model for security credentials.

Kathleen Carroll testifies on Feb. 3.

Biometrics information is worthless if it isn’t usable. With liveness detection, the only way it is usable is if the living human being presents their biometrics.

Representing the Security Industry Association (SIA) on Wednesday, Feb. 3, Kathleen Carroll, Vice President, Government Affairs, HID Global Corp., made recommendations to Congress to strengthen security credentials at U.S. airports.

In testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on Transportation and Public Assets, Ms. Carroll specifically explored several ways to improve security credentials endorsed by the Aviation Security Advisory Committee, a body of private sector representatives providing counsel to the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Ms. Carroll, who serves as chair of SIA’s Government Relations Committee, called for wider adoption of biometric confirmation of identity for badge issuance and random auditing capture of a biometric template for security identification display area badge (SIDA) applicants.

“Biometrics are already in use at several airports, including BWI and SFO,” Ms. Carroll said in her prepared testimony. “These biometric deployments enhance security by tying the SIDA badge to the holder of the badge. Further, biometric technology has improved substantially in recent years and industry continues to invest in further advancements.”

A key measure to ensure appropriate use of biometrics would be “liveness detection,” which eliminates spoofing, Ms. Carroll said. Liveness detection helps to verify identity through reading an individual's physiological signs of life.

“For example, liveness detection solves the worry around the biometrics that were stolen in the OPM [Office of Personnel Management] breach. Biometrics information is worthless if it isn’t usable. With liveness detection, the only way it is usable is if the living human being presents their biometrics.”

Ms. Carroll also called for airport worker credentials to follow a federated model.

“Many airport employees work at multiple airports and often need to go through the vetting process and carry a badge for each airport. In a federated model, such as the U.S. government’s Personal Identity Verification (PIV) program, each federal employee is vetted to an acceptable and known process across all federal agencies.”

Multiple credentialing often requires employees to carry a variety of documents with them and thereby increases security risks through exposing sensitive information, she added.

Ms. Carroll is available for interviews related to her testimony for the hearing. For a copy of the testimony or to arrange an interview, contact Mickey McCarter, SIA communications manager, at 301-804-4704 or mmccarter(at)securityindustry(dot)org.

About the Security Industry Association
The Security Industry Association (SIA) (http://www.securityindustry.org) is the leading trade association for electronic and physical security solution providers, with more than 600 innovative member companies representing more than 350,000 security leaders and experts who shape the future of the security industry. SIA protects and advances its members' interests by advocating pro-industry policies and legislation at the federal and state levels; creating open industry standards that enable integration; advancing industry professionalism through education and training; opening global market opportunities; and collaboration with other like-minded organizations. As a proud sponsor of ISC Events expos and conferences, and owner of the Securing New Ground® conference, SIA ensures its members have access to top-level buyers and influencers, as well as unparalleled learning and network opportunities.

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Mickey McCarter
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